Eclipse Special Reprint: “Day Star” (Poem)

I am just about to mosey out to the front porch with Tim, long lens camera & tripod (thanks, Karla!) and Celestron eclipse-viewing glasses. Who knows? Perhaps the clouds will stay parted long enough to see something.

Meanwhile, I thought I would share again this poem, composed during National Poetry Writing Month 2016. It is part of new book manuscript, Cloud Song, that will be forth-coming next March from Kelsay Books. More on that nearer the Vernal Equinox!

May your day be a truly stellar one, whatever you are doing, wherever you are!



      for Jan Rider Newman

Here in the early dark, waiting
for the sun to travel again
over the curve of the earth,
its daily round,
and hearing birdsong,
I understand: the whole world
waits, as we did.

I think of traveling to your house,
so long ago, visiting.
Our garden chairs set beside
your red sub-tropical blooms,
the box of old negatives
at our feet, tea-dark strips of film
we layered into visors.

Laughing, we looked boldly
into the doubled dark
of that solar eclipse,
certain as songbirds,
for the sun,
its radiant return.

Leslie Schultz





News Flash! MEZZO CAMMIN Publishes Four of My New Poems

I am so glad to share that Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by Women has just published its newest issue. This issue includes four of my own poems–two villanelles and two other pieces–and lots of poems by seventeen other poets that I am looking forward to reading. (The titles of my own poems are: “For My Daughter, Sleeping,” “Geography Lesson,” “For LaNelle, After Thirty Years,” and “Night of the Murdered Poets.” All of these poems were written in the past two or three years.

This issue also includes mention of an intriguing collaboration by the featured artist, painter Holly Trostle Brigham, (a new name for me) and poet Marilyn Nelson (one of my heroines & author of A Wreath for Emmett Till) and two prose commentaries. In addition, it notes a cause for celebration: the visionary Women Poets Timeline Project now has seventy-five essays to share! The newest one introduces me to a living poet of great power, Etel Adnan, a ninety-year-old Lebanese poet, who writes in both English and French and whose work transcends cultural and disciplinary boundaries. Joyce Wilson’s summary of her life and work, “Etel Adnan: The Poetry of Suffering,” is an essay I look forward to reading again slowly.

Please take a few moments to look over the contents of this new issue. I would love to know what you think!

Here is a photo I took this past week at the Oshkosh Public Museum, a detail of an arched Tiffany window. (Julia and I traveled there to see friends and research some family history.)

April 30, 2017 Poem: “Arrival”

In memoriam Sandra Petrek

It is mete and fit for journeys to end;
for the train to pull into the station,
for all tired travelers to disembark.

Let us imagine them gathering now
in a fine hotel, mere steps from the tracks,
where they can stop, unknot the tiredness

of the body, the fatigue of the mind,
rest for a moment alone. Soon, they shall
join those waiting, who traveled before them,

in the glittering dining room. Candles
will be lit, and glasses lifted in joy.
Reunion will suffuse their hearts like wine

filling a glass to the brim and beyond,
washing away even the memory
of pain. But for now, just for a moment,

let us imagine them pausing as they reach
final clarity, still content to listen
to us, to music we make from their names.

Leslie Schultz

For me, this has been an intense month, and the daily task of the poem steadied me.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who were there for me this past April as readers.                             You know who you are!                                                                                                   Your daily presence cheered me on each day.

                In gratitude, Leslie

April 29, 2017 Poem: “Narrow Steps”

Narrow Steps

Lately, I fear being pulled under.
And, so, ladders appear everywhere:
across the street, next door, near
my porch. Even here,

inside a monumental marble-walled
museum, a microcosm
of skill and beauty culled from
the whole blue marbled globe

we inhabit. And so, I am
asking for the courage to see
how to rise above, to find one step
up, one step back into hope.

Leslie Schultz

This is the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo– hope to see you tomorrow for the final poem in this year’s series.


Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

April 26, 2017 Poem: “Shadow Fall”

Shadow Fall
for Tim

“The Higgs boson is invisible,
but visible as a shadow falling
on the collided particles.”

This idea of a dress
absorbs and reflects
the light of the mind,

exciting particular
clouds of knowing
and unknowing.

Unwearable, fixed, it
conjures the constant instability
of that all-penetrating field

shuttling silently but
musically—warp and weft
strung and unstringing

eternity. Here we
might glimpse particles
of our own excitement

at life, those little
bursts of vertigo
and joy, see how

we, too, just might be
incised into the universe,
part of the blind intaglio
of what we divine.

Leslie Schultz

Earlier this month, I asked Tim to give me a challenge word to work into a poem. His word? “Higgs boson.”

Tim reads far more deeply in science than I do, and has recently been looking at Most Wanted Particle: The Inside Story of the Hunt for the Higgs, the Heart of the Future of Physics by Jon Butterworth (a Christmas gift from Julia.)

I’ve been mulling his challenge for a few weeks. Hmmm….maybe I was stumped?

Today, I thought of the very exciting exhibition mounted two years ago by the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis in honor of 2013 Nobel Medals in all fields, including the one to Peter Higgs for physics. The exhibit combined information on the awards with new creations in music, fashion, and floral design inspired by each. In particular, the memory of how designers Josephine Bergqvist and Klara Modigh interpreted the concept of the Higgs boson gave me a way into making my own interpretation in poetic form.

I went several times, passing, mesmerized, through the galleries and taking the photographs below.


Just four more poems to go! Until tomorrow,  LESLIE

Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!